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Clause 2 - Labour market enforcement strategy

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 27th October 2015.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration) 11:00 am, 27th October 2015

As the hon. Lady will note from the consultation document, the strategy is about setting out information and issues concerning the work of different bodies and agencies, including some themes of non-compliance. How that feeds into communication, good practice and sharing information is at the heart of the matter and needs to be reflected in the strategy.

Amendments 56 and 59 bring me to the director’s role in setting the resources of the enforcement bodies. It is the Government’s intention not that the director of labour market enforcement decides the budgets of the three enforcement bodies, but that the director should recommend how resources should be allocated within the total envelope of available funding. Hon. Members will be aware that the Gangmasters Licensing Authority is funded by the Home Office, and the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate and HMRC’s national minimum wage enforcement teams are funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Funding for those agencies is secured via the usual departmental bidding process. While the Government intend that the relevant Secretaries of State will take the director’s proposals on resources into account during the preparation of those bids, it is right that the Government set the overall level of resources devoted to labour market enforcement in the context of the totality of pressures on public spending. I point out that HMRC has increased its budget for enforcing the national minimum wage; for 2015-16, that has increased by £4 million, meaning that the total budget has increased to £13.2 million.